Ferrari is considering replacing the gearbox in Felipe Massa's car before the start of the United States Grand Prix.
The Brazilian is set to line up sixth on the grid at Austin, two places ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso, but his engineers are understood to be concerned about the state of his gearbox. A Ferrari spokesman confirmed that the team was looking closely at the matter, but said that no final decision had been made.
"We are evaluating the situation right now," the spokesman said.
A penalty for Massa would lead to a five-place grid penalty and drop him down to 11th of the grid. However, the move would prove to be a bonus for Alonso, who would move up one place to seventh – which is on the cleaner side of the grid. Massa, who would also move to the cleaner side of the grid, had warned on Saturday night that those drivers starting on the dirty side would be at a big disadvantage.
"I think it will be the biggest difference you ever saw at a start," said Massa. "It will be massive. This morning I did the start on the left, and I was slower than in the wet."